January 25th, 2016


B2B Marketers: Is Sales Enablement in your 2016 Strategy?

It’s one of the rites of the New Year: seeing what industry forecasters anticipate for the upcoming year.

Sales Enablement is one the 2016 hot buttons.  It is cited in multiple 2016 B2B Marketing Trends articles, including posts by Knowledge Tree, Business2Community and The Drum.

The topic caught my attention, as way back in the early years of my career I worked for a consumer products division of Bristol-Myers Squibb in a department called “Sales Merchandising”.  The “merchandising” part of that name was a bit narrow.

While our department created and produced point-of-sale materials and very elaborate displays, our responsibilities were actually much more extensive in creating communications that translated marketing plans into sales-enabling content.  The creations of our department ranged from internal communications detailing marketing plans and associated sales strategies and goals to presentation materials for products and promotions, sales incentive programs, multi-media productions for national sales meetings and much more.

It was a Sales Enablement department in every sense of the word – back in the sunset of the last millennium.

And now in 2016, Sales Enablement is an often mentioned trend.  Why so?

Knowledge Tree is one of several sources describing the objective of Sales Enablement to be ensuring “every sales rep has the required knowledge, insights, and content to optimize each engagement with prospects and advance the deal.”

This certainly would have been our mission in that “Sales Merchandising” department I worked in so many years ago.

Taking the objective a bit further upstream, Business2Community elaborates that marketing has to become more focused on helping sales convert “leads into opportunities and opportunities into revenue.”  With this is a call for more collaboration between marketing and sales, with greater integration of the objectives of each department.

Business2Community observes that “marketing is an art, but technology turns it into a science”.  And that’s the cornerstone of the recent and growing interest on Sales Enablement.

Furthermore, according to Gartner Research, by 2020, 85 percent of customer relationships will be managed without customers and companies ever meeting in person. This calls for integration between marketing and sales to be as highly choreographed as a marching band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Seriously, if your marketing plan, for all its media integration, never has included sales as an audience and has never addressed sales communications strategically, with the objective of insuring “every sales rep has the required knowledge, insight, and content to optimize each engagement with prospects and advance the deal”, the time to do this is now.

December 23rd, 2015

Laura Spaulding

Internship Applications Now Open

Bozell is now accepting applications for our summer, fall and spring internships. Applications are being accepted for account service, copywriting, design, media, interactive and public relations. To learn more visit our website:

December 4th, 2015

Robin Donovan

Social Media as a Tool of Destruction?

In the wake of this week’s San Bernadino shootings there are many remaining questions. Was this an act of interoffice violence, terrorism or both? Pundits seem to be all over the map on this one. Apparently the main shooter was attending the office Christmas party cum bloodbath and left, only to return with his wife and a small arsenal. The rest is history.

In and among discussions on this latest nightmare featured on the local news last night, there was a deduction made that caught me completely off guard and sidetracked the on-air discussion. The corollary introduced outlined how social media has enabled radicalism to grow and thrive within the United States in a way that was never possible before. They postured that prior to the advent of social media, terrorists had to be hand trained and nurtured in an environment that supported the bloody end game. Not any more. There is now a strong belief, even a certainty that access to social media has revolutionized the instruction and maintenance of “terrorists in training.”

I don’t know if these “experts” have it right. But I do know that my former belief that the greatest evil of social media was the potential to damage the reputation of organizations or persons undeservedly, enable potential stalkers to spook potential victims or just make folks face issues they would prefer to avoid, is seriously naive. And if there is a shred of truth to their hypothesis, we need to take a serious look at the tools we are providing to make the work of radicalists far easier and more productive.

And finally, can this barn door be closed if the horse is already out?


November 29th, 2015


“One Metric” – The Holy Grail?

The Advertising Age article, One Marketing Metric to Rule Them All? Group Believes It Has One is if not the latest, one of many recent pieces published about some of the wonders new technology and media can offer: increasingly precise and real-time measurements of the impact of marketing and advertising initiatives.

Read More

October 28th, 2015

Kim Mickelsen

The Future of Computers is Wearable

Wearable usage will grow by nearly 60% this year. That’s an impressive number considering that just a couple short years ago the term “wearable” was an overhyped buzzword with little practical applications outside of the Fitbit products. Google glasses were downright weird (personal opinion) and few of us had the interest (or guts) to walk around in them. Read More

October 26th, 2015


What’s the Newest in Marketing to Emotions?

It’s interesting to me that the words “emotion”, “marketing” and “customers” are finding themselves together in what seems to be increased frequency over the past few months.

Since August, just a few of the publications that speak of emotions as a powerful force for binding brands and customers/consumers include Entrepreneur (8/7/15), iMedia Connection (8/27/15) and Harvard Business Review (November 2015).*

This is just a sampling of publications recently featuring articles on the topic of marketing to emotion(s).

Do you wonder why this is a topic that seems to be building in popularity – AGAIN?

Developing marketing communications that engage the target audience emotionally is not new.  Actually, wasn’t that the point of the very earliest of advertising?

Arguably, we could go back even before that very bright star in the East that lit the way for Kings and Shepherds alike.

The emotion: HOPE.  I can be saved!

With rapidly growing mass media in the 20th Century, marketers angled at the emotional level.

For example, Coca Cola promised “exhilaration” and the Winton Motor Carriage Company dangled more carefree transportation, enabling buyers to dispense with the anxiety of caring for a horse….

Coke-First-Adauto ad


And if there ever was a marketer who nailed it on emotions, what about Hallmark?  Who rivals Hallmark’s ability to deliver movies that send emotions into overdrive?

Hallmark even published a book in 2001, Emotion Marketing – the HALLMARK Way of Winning Customers for Life.

So in 2015, how do emotions and marketing come together again in such great frequency?  Is it the exponential growth of new media options – ways to connect with your audience faster, and more individually and personally, than ever before?

And, by the way, this question is not only for the consumer market.  What relationship exists between marketing and emotions in the B2B world?  What are the opportunities?

As the HBR article urges – “given the enormous opportunity to create new value, companies should pursue emotional connections as a science—and a strategy.”

Indeed, and I might add: foster emotional connections with authenticity.

*The articles mentioned can be accessed through these links:

September 10th, 2015

Robin Donovan

Jared Fogle, You Didn’t Just Let Subway Down

Subway was very smart. When they realized that a kind of nerdy, overweight college kid used their food to lose weight, they made him their brand ambassador. Jared Fogle spoke for the people, to the people; and he made Subway into a healthy alternative.

It doesn’t get better than that for a brand. A real-life, testimonial that elevated their brand and made millions for them – and they didn’t really have to try.

We were all excited and encouraged by Jared’s success. If he could do it – so could we! He was a shining example to many.

Jared’s recent imprisonment for sexually-related criminal behavior of various kinds was a bit of a black eye on the clean-cut Subway spokesperson, and indirectly on the Subway brand. Wow, no one saw that coming! From recent accounts, Subway’s not handling it all that well. Although Jared’s behavior is clearly not a direct reflection on the brand, a little more concern from Subway execs – who seem to be brushing it off like yesterday’s lint – might be in order.

The really sad thing here – aside from the poor families victimized by Fogle – is the damage done to all the other brand ambassadors. Will any of them ever really be trusted from this time forward? I think you know I’m talking to you, Jake, from State Farm!

September 8th, 2015


Building Brand Loyalty – No Longer about “Keeping up with the Joneses”

Are the Joneses feeling overlooked these days?


The 2nd-quarter issue of our newsletter, THINKING, leads off with this article: Great Expectations – Understanding the Consumer’s Mindset in Order to Generate Brand Loyalty.


I’ve been in the industry longer than I care to admit and long enough to appreciate a shift in who drives the brand relationship. Taking a moment to reflect on the past has two purposes:

  • For the sake of comparison.
  • To dislodge a 1980-something concept of building brand loyalty, if any still try to rely on it.

And speaking of twos, these lines from the article in particular leapt out at me:

  • “Where marketing was previously about mass media channels, we must now think of everything as a channel.”
  • “More important than ever-changing channels and mediums is the mindset of the consumer.”

Recalling efforts to build brand loyalty earlier in my career, marketing was about mass media channels and much more.  Positioning reigned, and mass media was kind of all there was. We worked diligently to develop affinity for brands that would enable consumers to “fit in” with people they admired. The effort was probably more about creating loyalty to brands that actually had our consumers feeling a few steps ahead of the Joneses, rather than just keeping up.

MarketingProfs issued an article earlier this year that said it succinctly: “The segmentation methods of yesteryear (demographic, geographic and psychographic) created a language about customers that was rooted in brand value—not personal value.”

Where building brand loyalty could be achieved in the past by enabling consumers to feel part of THE crowd, it’s now engagement at a much more personal level. This takes understanding and connecting with consumers at the “mindset” level.

Read Great Expectations for insight on “Six Integrated Mindsets”.  I hope these ideas are helpful starting points as you approach loyalty building strategies in the months ahead.

July 26th, 2015


The Heartbeat of Innovation –

Do you feel that pulse?!

It may be the bias of my passion for the marketing and advertising business that drives me to enthuse about the innovation – or at least the potential to innovate – that is at the heart of it.


New product development, restaging a dated product, generating brilliant and breakthrough creative, discovering new markets, and so many more opportunities to innovate: the possibility for building something truly novel is a rush, isn’t it?


A recent Forbes article about Lexus developing the prototype of a Hoverboard caught my innovation-loving attention.  And it prompted some questions:

  • How good are organizations really in their ability to innovate?
  • What innovations that could be solutions to serious problems might be gathering dust in organizations across the country? Around the world?

The Lexus Hoverboard: this is a product concept that grabs the imagination, doesn’t it?


From the Jetsons to Back to the Future, the concept may not be new, but Lexus has a prototype.  That seems pretty gutsy.  How many organizations will invest the resources and take the risk to develop a product that is so “out there”?


Forbes quoted Lexus EVP, Mark Templin, reflecting on the culture that underlies this commitment to innovate:

“At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible. That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to take on the Hoverboard project. It’s the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination.”


These are words of inspiration… “Push the boundaries”…“Passion”…”Combine Technology Design and Imagination”…and it’s my sense anyway that we see and hear them a lot.


It may be silly to ask how many companies express words like these and then also put them into action.  How many Hoverboard prototypes do you see?


One answer may be in a survey The Center for Creative Leadership conducted with its 500-client panel in 2014 about the need they see for innovation and their ability to deliver it:

  • 94% of respondents said innovation is a key driver of success.
  • Only 14% felt confident about the ability of their organization to drive innovation effectively.

Also of interest, the Association for Talent Development recently published an article, Stuck in the Middle: Why Innovation Dies and What to Do About It.  If creativity might be getting stuck in your organization, look at some of the ideas it offers for letting innovation break free.

July 8th, 2015

Robin Donovan

Dear Facebook

I would like to ask you for a favor.

I use Facebook for business, for personal connections and for book promotion. I used to look forward to checking out my News Feed for all the interesting, entertaining and sometimes even exciting posts. Now I approach with trepidation. There are things I see that turn my blood cold. Some of these things have a major, negative impact on my state of mind, and I can ill afford to have that happen. Call me a wimp if you want – but I know for a fact that I am not alone in this perception.

Let me give you some examples. For me, the single worst thing that occurs with a great deal of frequency is when folks post stories and photos of atrocities to animals, and even to humans. I know they are meant to make me aware and propel me into action, but they horrify and upset me. In that state I’m rarely good to anyone – for anything. My second biggest concern is all the folks who post that their dog or cat has died. I am an empathetic person – this just kills me. Two nights ago, I saw tearjerking posts about four different French Bulldogs that had died. My heart goes out to them – too far out. These posts can ruin my whole mood. Does that seem selfish? Well, I have my own mood-ruining stuff – so I don’t need to share everyone else’s!

Second tier aggravations are political and religious posts. If I agree with you I don’t need to read it and if I don’t, you’re not going to convert me – so I don’t want to see it. I’ll never be impressed with your religious or political opinions because they are personal opinions that you are entitled to have, but I’m not obligated to be subjected to them.

Aside from these 4 major problems, there are a just a few more irritating areas: folks who drop vague hints in order to be drawn out – just say it for god sake, folks who oversell – I’m okay with a little light sell – but some of these folks need to give it a rest and lately I’ve been getting an influx of posts selling erotic reading material – I can’t reject those eroto-posterbaters fast enough. And what’s with those videos that you click on, only to be diverted to some hideous photo that shocks and horrifies? Please, no more photos of botched surgery in vivid color, I can only take so much!

After all of this, here’s the favor. Could you please start to compartmentalize some of these topics out of the mainstream News Feed? I would even pay money not to see the atrocities and the dead pet announcements.

I would never suggest that these folks don’t have the right of free speech – or posts – but they are impinging on my right not to be traumatized. There’s got to be a way, maybe a separate News Feed for Rainbow Bridge or a social consciousness news feed. Let’s face it, the whole political thing is only going to get worse in the next year.

If you compartmentalize these posts I can decide to engage when and if I choose, and my Facebook experience will improve exponentially. How about it – can you help me out here?